BENEFITING: Achilles International Inc.
In 2004, Achilles launched the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans program. An extension of the Achilles process of physical strengthening, building confidence, and generating a supportive community, the program was adapted to the specific needs of wounded members of the U.S. military. Program participants receive training as well as use of specialized adaptive devices, such as hand-crank wheelchairs. While the goal is to enter and complete a marathon, the program stresses “achievable accomplishment,” encouraging participants to begin by training for a less-demanding competition, such as our 5-mile “Hope and Possibility” race. This allows the members to experience success and build confidence. Since its inception, we have worked closely with the physical therapists at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. All injured military personnel and veterans are eligible for the program, whether the injury is combat or non-combat related.